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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Inspiration Post: Cats!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to update the blog with something new. At the end of every month (starting out as just once a month) I want to post some things that inspire me that will hopefully also inspire you!!

This month's theme is cats!! I love cats. I have a cat of my own named Samus (yes after the video game character) and we have a total of 5 cats at my home! If that makes me a crazy cat lady then, oh well!

1) Cat Woman Drawing

I found this before on Google Images, and again uploaded on Pinterest. I'm not sure who created it but it is adorable! The stylized, cartoon nature is something that I am really into and inspires me when creating my own illustrations! If anyone knows who created this please contact me so I can link it back to the artist :)

2) Ryan Clark -"I Love Yarn"

Actually saw this image on Twitter. Not only is a good example of illustration it's an excellent example of typography. This type treatment is too cute!! You can view more of Ryan's art on his website:

photo via Alephbet website

3)"Three Little Kittens" a Little Golden Book illustrated by MASHA

We actually had 3 copies of this book while growing up and I still keep a copy in my room to this day! It's a classic story with illustrations of dolled up little kittens on every page.

photo via laura@popdesign Flickr

4)Jean-Fran├žois Martin - Contes des chats

I don't know much about this illustration except that it what I believe to be a book cover. Another great example of not only illustration but also type. The piece itself only uses few colors to catch your eye displaying how less can be more.

photo via HawaiiKawaii blog

5) Kuma Crafts- Cupcake Cat Earrings

Unfortunately these earrings are something that are sold out at the designer Etsy shop named Kuma Crafts. The concept is short of genius. Kittens? Adorable. Cupcakes? Sweet. Kittens that are ALSO Cupcakes?!?! I think my head just exploded with awesomeness.

Tune in next month for another set of inspiring pieces. I hope they motivate you to create as much as they do for me!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tracy DiMarco and Corey Eps Engagement Portrait!!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to upload the blog with a really glamorous portrait I created. As you may or may not know, Tracy DiMarco from Jerseylicious recently got engaged!!

image via MyStyle

Tracy is someone I always admired from the Style Network show, and as strange as it may seem for a small town girl from Pennsylvania, we have gotten to be great friends!! She has a real appreciation for art!! So when I heard that I got to make a portrait for her engagement I was super psyched!! Tracy was thinking of having a cartoon of her and Corey wearing matching baby blue outfits for their engagement party!

The portrait came out really great!! I made sure to pack it with lots of details. Sparkly, bling-ed out jewels and everything!!

Tracy and Corey are the cutest couple and I am so glad I have gotten to meet them!! I hope I get invited to their wedding!! Jerseylicious is wrapping up here in the states. Who knows what will happen next season??

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spinach Lasagna Rolls (w/ Illustration)

Hey everyone! Just wanted to update the blog with another one of my adventures in cooking. This Friday I made SkinnyTaste's "Spinach Lasagna Rolls" This is only second pasta dish and my FIRST time having to strain spinach so I was pretty intimidated.

Some people's complaints I read online about making lasagna rolls is that they are hard to roll without tearing. I have never made lasagna noodles in my life but cooked them according to Alton Brown's method on Macaraoni and Cheese episode and had NO problems with them every ripping.

All in all the recipe came out delicious and I would definitely make it again. And I didn't get lazy this time for this blog entry. I actually made an illustration to accompany my noodle adventure. A cute little lasagna roll taking a nap.

Because when you roll them and set them in the pan they all look like they are tucked in for a good night's sleep. To try the recipe for yourself check out the SkinnyTaste blog or just click the link here:

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival!

One fun event my town has from time to time is a Sidewalk Chalk competition. Artists of all ages can pay a small fee to reserve one (or more) blocks of sidewalk and create a masterpiece! Pieces are then judged and prizes given to winner's in each age group.

I decided to participate this year. My drawing was a combination of two things that I love; baking and robots!

My little baker robot was busy at work making lots of yummy frosted cupcakes in all sorts of colors and tasty sprinkled donuts. MMMMM!

I didn't win any prizes but I still had a blast!! It was great checking out other people's pieces!! Almost enchanting strolling around the environment being surrounded by vivid works of art on every step you make.

And honestly, I don't think I did TOO bad for a girl who spends majority of her time at a computer all day! I'm really excited to participate next year. I even told a few of my friends about it. Who knows, maybe I will win!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Laura Cooks: Once a Month Mom BBQ Chicken Bites

I know this is an illustration blog but I can't help myself but to post ANOTHER cooking entry. I am trying my hardest to learn this whole "cooking" thing and tend to get REALLY excited when I complete a dish.

Since I eat like a little kid (and look like a little kid anyway) what better recipe to try than some homemade chicken nuggets!! The recipe I tried was "BBQ Chicken Bites," from Once A Month Mom.

The recipe was definitely easy enough for me to complete. One of the ingredients was Hellman's mayonnaise and I HATEEEE mayo. So I substituted the mayo for some plain, nonfat Oiko's Greek Yogurt. And instead of bread crumbs I used the leftover Whole Wheat Panko I used in Alton Brown's Baked Mac and Cheese.

The chicken came out tasting like shake and bake (which I had no problem with) with a hint of BBQ sauce. I dipped mine in the giant container of ranch dressing always in my fridge along with some baby carrots. Mmmmmm!!

To view the full recipe head over to Once a Month Mom or just click on this link: Try it sometime and I hope you all have a good weekend!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Laura Doodles Cooks: Alton Brown's Baked Mac and Cheese

Hey everyone! I have many baking adventures checking out new recipes in my dessert related cookbooks and finding recipes online but I don't usually cook MEALS much. I don't really know how to cook. I usually eat the same thing everyday and it's never anything complicated or that even INVOLVES an oven.

Recently I was watching re-runs of a show called, "Good Eats," hosted by Alton Brown, an extreme food nerd who makes cooking entertaining yet scientific and the episode was about Mac and Cheese. I LOVEEE Mac and Cheese and instantly inspired his seemingly easy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe.

The ingredients were also super simple (the only thing I didn't already have on hand was sharp cheddar cheese and panko bread crumbs) and on the recipe page the full clip of Alton and his Nephew Elton concocting the delicious dish is available to watch. Great for people who are visual learners!

All in all, the recipe was very tasty! If I could change anything I would have probably added MORE cheese (and gained 5lbs doing it). I would definitely make it again sometime but my heart still belongs to the good old boxed Kraft kind, sorry Alton!

To try the recipe out for yourself, head over to the FoodNetwork website or just click on this link:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What is in a Name?

One of the hardest steps to launching your own business can be deciding on the name. As you know, I am owner and operator of my own freelance design business, Violet Ink Design. Although our brand has evolved from it's original design the name has stayed the same!!

So, where did "Violet Ink Design", the name, come from? Ever since I was a little girl I loved the color purple. So you better believe when I got a pen that wrote with violet ink, I was doodling all over my notebooks and school work with it.

I look back at those memories fondly. Who knew one little pen would form the foundation of my career!! I also stumbled across a short article about naming your own freelance business on a great site called freelance advisor. Check it out by clicking here:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Zap! Zap! Cute CYMK Cloud!

In the true spirit of "lauradoodles" I decided I wanted to post a recent illustration I doodled up. I based this off of a silly sketch I made with some highlighters.

It started with just some simple blue circles and grew into this cute little fellow!

I kept the colors super bright to give it that electric-highlighter hues! I hope this brightened everyone's day a little :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

"Patty's Closet" Illustrated Portrait

Hey everyone! Just wanted to update the blog with a portrait I did in the beginning of the year. One of my awesome clients Teray, (who I originally drew a wedding portrait for) requested a portrait for one of her favorite stores, "Patty's Closet"!!

Patty's closet is a fashion boutique turned franchise phenomenon with stores popping up all over the USA! The portrait I created was of the owner, Patty Barbara, in front of a cute pink city scape with the "Patty's Closet" logo popping up on a billboard!!

Teray, also her own blog with her husband reviewing Las Vegas restaurants where she ALSO features an outfit from Patty's Closet each week. You can visit Teray's blog at No Patty's Closet in your area?? They also sell clothes and accesories online at

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!!

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